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The temporary feeling of hunger or loss

The sensation of hunger has no location.

Hunger pangs do have a location - the fleeting abdominal sensation of cramping or restriction. I'm talking about the sensation of hunger itself - the feeling that one needs to eat. This has no specific location, and is not pain or even discomfort. This sensation is tied to regular times for eating and goes away to a remarkable degree after that allocated eating time passes.

Real hunger is something most of us have never experienced - the kind of hunger that drives you to steal food, or eat things you would never normally eat. I'm not sure what real hunger feels like because I've never been without food for more than a day or so.

Our sense of loss tied to achievement also has no location. The feeling that we are not doing as well as we should, like temporary hunger, is tied to a habit of comparison. If we do not measure up to our own or someone else's expectations, we experience ill-feeling. This is a concept driving a mood. It, like our occasional hunger, is ephemeral and lasts only as long as the idea that we "should" feel it drives the mood.

The habit of assuming every setback or loss must have a silver lining - that somehow, in the future, the sense of loss must be corrected with some gain - locks us into a conceptual stock market of feelings. Everything we feel is not for itself but tied to some form of benefit or utility in the future. "This experience is teaching me something I can use to avoid feeling this in the future".

There will be events in our lives - losses - that are of the order of real hunger. At these times, the contrast between a relatively fleeting sense of disempowerment and the devastation of real catastrophe becomes starkly obvious.

My resolution for 2020 - such as it is - would be to become more aware of the categorical difference between the feeling of loss tied to achievement, and truly significant loss.

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